Recreational Activities in Remote Camps
Effective date: April 23, 1982
Approved date: June 14, 1982
Application: All related claimants.
Policy subject: Decision making - Injuries
To establish guidelines for determining entitlement for injuries sustained while participating in recreational activities in remote camp situations.
- By legislation, compensation is payable for injuries "arising out of and in the course of employment."
- The legislation covers "employment injuries” rather than just "work" injuries, and therefore can encompass other activities related to employment.
- Not infrequently, recreational injuries occur while employees are off work on their spare time.
- The employer, in an isolated camp situation, has control over what sort of activities the work force engages in during their off hours.
- In certain situations, the employer's employees are resident employees or captive employees. They have little, if any freedom of choice as to the premises they use or the things which they can do to pass the time when not working.
- Most Workers' Compensation jurisdictions provide coverage when the source of injury was a risk distinctly associated with the conditions under which the claimant lived because of the requirement of remaining on the premises. Thus, injuries occurring while using bunkhouses, eating facilities, rest facilities, employer provided recreation facilities, etc., would fall within this doctrine.
- This does not mean that everything is covered. A worker may import into the isolated setting a dangerous risk which is unreasonable to the work setting. For example, someone who has a dangerous hobby such as working with explosives, may well have a claim disallowed if injured while engaged in this hobby on the employer's premises. The link to employment is too tenuous in this example to grant coverage.
- The second category of recreational injury is employee-sponsored recreation such as fishing, swimming, water skiing, etc. The British Columbia WCB writes, in reported Decision 39, as follows:
"…in a situation such as the work location involved here (isolated camp), the worker does not, like the city worker, move from an employment relationship into a private life which he enjoys in a general society independent of his work environment. Only to a limited extent is the worker at this kind of location free to develop a lifestyle and private life independent of the employer's organization."
The decision further states:
"Cases like the present might be seen as examples of the 'inducement to hire doctrine. The essence of this doctrine is that if an employer establishes a facility, or locates close to a facility, that is one of the attractions inducing workers to come to his place of employment, injuries occurring through the use of that facility are compensable. For example, in one case a residential worker drowned on his day off while swimming in a lake at the employer's camp. Compensation was awarded on the ground that it could be inferred that the fact that the recreational facilities exists was an inducement of hire.'
We do not, however, rest our decision in this case on the inducement of hire doctrine so much as on the broader principle that where a worker is injured in the course of receiving the consideration for which he is working, or in the course of using some facility supplied or provision made by the employer, the acceptance of such consideration and the use of such facility or provision are part of the employment relationship; and injuries resulting therefrom are injuries arising out of and in the course of employment."
The Workers’ Compensation Act, 2013
(1) January 1, 2014. References updated in accordance with The Workers’ Compensation Act, 2013.
(2) 1995, Board Order 29/82 divided into policy and procedure. Approved through POL 29/1995.
(3) Board Order 15/82, Coverage – Injuries – Resident-Captive Workers (effective April 23, 1982).
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